Continuing the series on most popular Indian actresses, today I am talking about hot and popular actresses of 90s. In the 1990s, the Indian movies concentrated towards the family-centric romantic musicals with the success of movie like Dil, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Raja Hindustani etc. This was the age of Khan actors such as Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan and actresses like Madhuri Dixit, Juhi Chawla and Kajol. However there were many action and comedy films which gained huge popularity with actors like Govinda and Akshay Kumar and actresses such as Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor. This decade also marked the entry of offbeat films like Krantiveer, Takshak, Satya with actors like Nana Patekar, Manoj Bajpai, Manisha Koirala, Tabu and Urmila Matondkar. Some of these movies got commercial success also.
Madhuri Dixit — She was the most popular Indian actress in late 80s and early 90s. In this era she dominated Hindi cinema as a leading actress. She appeared in many super hit movies and delivered many critically-acclaimed performances. She made her acting debut in Abodh movie in 1984. However she was first noticed when Tezab became superhit in 1988. Then she appeared in big hits like Ram Lakhan, Parinda, Tridev. She won her first Best Actress filmfare award for the movie Dil in 1990. She followed this success with another line of hits, including Saajan, Beta, Khalnayak, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, Raja and Dil To Pagal Hai. In 2002, she starred in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas with Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai. Her performance was applauded and earned her a Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award. She is also a professional Kathak dancer. She had shown her dancing skills in many movies. In 1999, she married Sriram Nene, an Indian doctor who resides in USA.
Kajol — Kajol is daughter of Tanuja. Tanuja is also a renowned Bollywood actress, whilst her late father Shomu Mukherjee was a film producer. Kajol made her debut in Bollywood with Bekhudi movie but it performed badly on box-office, however film critics noticed her performance and soon she started getting offers from big banners. Her first major hit was Baazigar along with Shahrukh Khan, with whom she later delivered some of the biggest Bollywood hits like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Her performances in both the films were praised and earned her two Filmfare Best Actress Awards. Even Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is considered as the biggest hit in the history of Indian Cinema. In 1998, she was at peak of her career. In that year she gave four superhit movies, Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya, Pyar to Hona hi tha, Dushman and Kuch Kuch hota Hai. Kajol married Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan on February 24, 1999. After the successful Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham released in 2001, she took a sabbatical from full time acting for five years for her daughter. She made a successful comeback with Kunal Kohli’s Fanaa, for which she received Best Actress Filmfare award. Kajol has been part of many critically and commercially successful films, and is regarded as one of India’s most successful actresses
Karishma Kapoor — She is from famous Kapoor family. Her father Randhir Kapoor and mother Babita were good actors in their time. She is grand-daughter of Raj Kapoor, the legend of Indian Cinema. She made her debut in Prem Qaidi movie in 1991, but she was not noticed their due to her poor acting. Then she got some success with films like Jigar , Anari, Raja Babu, Coolie No. 1, Saajan Chale Sasural and Jeet. But she was way behind the top actresses of India. In 1996, she played the lead role in Dharmesh Darshan’s Raja Hindustani opposite Aamir Khan. The movie was the biggest hit of the year. Also she won her first Filmfare Best Actress Award. Next year she again won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award and the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Yash Chopra’s super-hit, Dil To Pagal Hai opposite Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit. She continued her success with comedy films like Biwi No. 1 and Haseena Maan Jaayegi. She also achieved critical acclaim for her role in the film, Zubeidaa in 2001. On 29 September 2003, she married industrialist Sanjay Kapur, CEO of Sixt India.
Juhi Chawla — Very few people know that Juhi is the winner of Miss India Contest in 1984. Qayamat se Qayamat tak was her first superhit movie. When released, the film became a huge box office hit and shot Juhi Chawla to fame overnight. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak is a landmark movie in the history of Indian Cinema. It set the trend of musical soft love stories in Bollywood movies. Soon she established on-screen pair with Aamir Khan and gave movies like Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke, Ishq, Daulat Ki Jung. She has teamed up with Shahrukh Khan too, delivering hit movies like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Darr and Yes Boss. Juhi later turned producer and became the co-owner of a production company called Dreamz Unlimited with Shahrukh Khan and director Aziz Mirza. Unfortunately the first two films produced by the production company – Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani and Asoka failed at the box office. Their third film, Chalte Chalte was the first success for the company. Juhi has recently appeared in the critically acclaimed films – 3 Deewarein, 7½ Phere and My Brother Nikhil. She is wife of industrialist Jai Mehta. Jai Mehta and Juhi Chawla are the co-owners of the Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders in partnership with Shahrukh Khan’s company Red Chillies Entertainment.
Raveena Tandon — She is also from filmi background. Her father, Ravi Tandon is a famous filmmaker. Raveena made her acting debut with Patthar Ke Phool. During the 90s, she was a popular star and was part of several commercial successes such as Mohra, Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi and Ziddi, followed by many more. But she never performed well in offbeat cinema. However, she surprised critics and audiences in the early 2000s, when she ventured into more serious roles and turned to work in art and parallel cinema. She was highly acclaimed for her performances in films like Aks and Satta, and had the peak of her career in 2002, when she won the coveted National Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Kalpana Lazmi’s Daman. She married Film Distributor Anil Thadani on February 22, 2004
Sushmita Sen — She wrote history when she became first Indian woman to win Miss Universe Contest in 1994. After becoming Miss Universe, she started getting offers for lead roles in Bollywood movies so Sushmita became an actress. Her first movie, Dastak in 1996, where she played the victim of a stalker, didn’t do well at the box office. In David Dhawan’s movie Biwi No.1 won her the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award in 1999. The same year, she was also nominated for her role in Sirf Tum in the same category. She became top star with 2004 movie Main Hoon Na, opposite to Shahrukh Khan. Later on, she played a lawyer in Main Aisa Hi Hoon opposite Ajay Devgan. In 2005, she also starred in Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya, opposite to Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif.
Urmila Matondkar — She started her career in Hindi movies as a child actress in Masoom movie in 1983. She was initially noted for her roles in films like Rangeela and Satya. In both these movies her director was Ram Gopal Varma. She did many films with Ramu like Daud, Kaun, Mast, Jungle, Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, Bhoot, and Ek Hasina Thi. During the 90s, she has frequently been featured in the Indian media as a sex symbol. She is a multi-talented actress. After getting initial success, she subsequently went on to show her psychological acting abilities, and has delivered a range of critically acclaimed performances. She received various Best Villain nominations for her role as an obsessive lover in Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya in 2001, and won her first Filmfare Award under the Best Performer category for her portrayal of a ghost-possessed woman in Bhoot movie, opposite to Ajay Devgan. She was later highly praised for her roles as a merciless avenger in Ek Hasina Thi in 2004 opposite to Saif Ali Khan and a caring daughter in Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara.
Sonali Bendre — During early days, Sonali Bendre did some modeling. Then she was selected for the “Star Dust Talent Search”. Her first movie was Aag in 1994 opposite Govinda. She was one of the most popular actresses of 90s with movies like Bhai, Sarfarosh, Zakhm, Duplicate, Hum Saath-Saath Hain, Dil Hi Dil Mein, Tera Mera Saath Rahey and Anaahat. She is also known for being one of the few actresses who acted opposite all top 4 khans (aamir, shahrukh, saif and salman). She has also starred opposite some of the other biggest names in bollywood such as Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Ajay Devgan, Sanjay Dutt and Anil Kapoor. On November 12, 2002 she married film producer/director Goldie Behl.
I also want to add Aishwarya Rai, Tabbu and Kareena in this list but they have got majority of success in the career after 2000 so you will find them in the last part of this series.